This is a large bug (using the term “bug” in its technical sense—this is one of the “true bugs,” order Hemiptera, suborder Heteroptera—and a hansome one, at that. Not surprisingly, I found this one on the Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly weed, one of the milkweeds. From BugGuide.net, “In the course of feeding these bugs accumulate toxins from the milkweed, which can potentially sicken any predators foolish enough to ignore the bright colors which warn of their toxicity.&x201d;
There is a fair amount of variation in their color intensity. This one is a fairly pale orange, but I’ve seen them much brighter and pictures of them that are more red than orange. This photo was taken with flash, which I should do more often when taking insect pictures, because it allows a smaller aperture and shorter exposure, giving a sharper image with greater depth of field.